UA Testimony on Westchester County/Con Edison Temporary Gas Moratorium- 2/13
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Click here to download the testimony from the UA at the February 13th, 2019 Westchester County/Con Edison hearing on the temporary gas moratorium.The text follows:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Westchester County Con Edison Gas Moratorium. My name is John J. Murphy, a Westchester County resident for over 45 years and the International Representative of the United Association of plumbers, pipefitters and sprinkler fitters in the state of New York. I also sit on the Executive Board of the NYS Building and Construction Trades Council, a council representing more than 200,000 members.
Our members are extremely proud of the important work they do to bring clean energy and clean water to our communities. Both resources are equally important to the health of our economy and the health of our communities.
By stopping the development of pipelines we are stopping the moderation and expansion of our state's energy infrastructure. All across the United States and Canada highly trained building trades members install pipelines. We can attest to the safety and efficiency of today's existing pipelines and the good paying jobs and economic development that are sparked as a result.
We have all heard the adage, “as construction goes, so goes the economy.” We believe that without access to clean, natural gas, development in Westchester County will be dangerously impacted, and will have far reaching consequences. Not only for the inability to supply power to our communities but the loss of jobs for thousands of hardworking tradespeople and millions in tax revenue to the state. The unintended consequences can be devastating.
Just ask the 1,000 plus, soon to be displaced workers at Indian Point or the Buchanan school district.
I sit as a founding member of the NYS Climate Jobs Committee, a group consisting of labor, business and academia. Together we have laid out a path for the state for a balanced transition to renewable energy that takes into consideration the workers in each industry.
Denmark is considered one of the world’s leaders in offshore wind and renewable energy. Our committee traveled to Denmark to learn more about their journey to renewables. Their first wind farm was put into operation in 1992. They estimate it will take 25 to 30 more years before the country is independent of fossil fuel.
This moratorium and the radical movement to prevent the supply of clean, natural gas jeopardizes the reliability of our energy sources to power our economy and to provide the daily amenities that make our lives easier.
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has made major strides to improve our infrastructure and our business climate while moving towards renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, solar systems and heat pump technology. Our training departments have begun working with NYSERDA to prepare for the future using ground source and air source heat pumps and solar thermal systems. But it will be a slow transition.
We can all agree that climate change is real. But as we transition, we need a responsible, all of the above approach to energy. Supplying clean, natural gas will ensure that we provide reliable, affordable energy to the residents of New York while protecting good paying jobs in our communities, jobs that are the foundation of a middle class existence.